Why does USAA credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee to Active Duty Military members serving overseas?  I understand you wave the fee for a year for anyone deployed, but when it's a PCS it's only for the first year.  This is not fair and forces your members to look elsewhere to save on those charges.  Pentagon Federal Credit Union does not have a foreign transaction fee for anyone.  What gives? 

In addition, we travel alot overseas and are now retired. Come on guys .... do you really NEED to charge those fees to any of your members?  Retired, Active Duty, those serving now overseas....why not treat the fees like you do the ATM fees?

USAA is the best!  Love USAA and have been members for over 38 years.  Now do the smart thing and stay competative with Pentagon Federal!


Would be nice if USAA did away with that fee, but then they would probably have to off set it with higher interest rates.  I love my low interest USAA MC - Pentagon's is much higher.  I have two other cards that don't charge the fee that I use when overseas.

At least it's only 1%. Many banks charge 3%.

Still, I wish they would eliminate it entirely.

Those banks that charge a fee usually do so on top of the 1%. So that 3% is really 4%.


That said, NFCU and a few others are starting of offer cards that do not charge any foreign transaction fee at all. Presumably they offset the 1% by reducing the rewards or other benefits associated with that card.

USAA is not charging a fee, they are passing through the charge from the card company. USAA has no control over this fee.

The card association charges 0.80%. This is precisely what Navy charges on their cards that have a FTF. Coated with most other banks that charge the FTF, USAA is reasonable in that they only charge 1%.

Ken, banks do NOT add 3% on top of the 1%. I have yet to seecanybUS bank that charges 4%. The maximum I have seen is 3%. Which bank have you seen at 4%?

Also, it is possible for card issuers to negotiate the fee with the card association. Capital One has been doing this for many years and that is why no Cap One card ever has a FTF. It's not because they have reduced rewards or benefits. While USAA isn't as large an issuer as Cap One, they are in the top 8 and still have clout and probably could negotiate away the card association's FTF.
What's funny is that the rewards Star Card issued by AAFES doesn't charge you a foreign transaction fee either. And when the cards split in Sept (Chase and AAFES are going separate), neither card will charge the fees. So it seems crazy that USAA can't waive them for those of us stationed overseas. We are here serving our country, we don't choose to move here. Seems ridiculous that the bank that is for the military won't find a way to save us some money. I get it if you are here on vacation, etc., but give the rest of us a break.

Yeah, I used to use my USAA Master Card Rewards for almost everything I purchased while overseas until I noticed I was losing over a hundred dollars a year in foreign transaction fees.  


I switched to Navy Federal Credit Union which offered a rewards card without those fees. 


Recently, USAA has switched all its cards to Visa and are now getting rid of those foreign transaction fees for all Visa cards.


This is awesome news, and I am glad they listened.  Though it will be a challenge for them to switch everyone with Master Cards to Visa, this is a great move for those of us living overseas.


I may start using my USAA card while overseas now.





Wolverine2010, I, too, am glad that USAA has decided to eliminate foreign transaction fees with their switch to Visa. You are absolutely correct in that it adds up to a bit of money over a year.

Navy Federal has two cards (1 of which has an annual fee) without foreign transaction fees and I use my Navy Federal card while overseas. I would, however, prefer to use my USAA card and now I will start.